The Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul held yet another sold out Wits production on Friday, May 10. Although this season of Wits (and every season, for that matter) boasts some fantastic lineups, it was hard to say which of its three guest the audience was more excited for this time: internet comedian Rob Delaney or noted solo artist Neko Case (also a big slice of the New Pornographers pie). While Delaney and Case were definitely considered the “big ticket items,” the addition of singer Kelly Hogan was a welcome one.Comedic headliner Rob Delaney is known best for his knee-slapping Twitter handle, very sensibly named @robdelaney. He was a great choice for Minnesota public Radio’s Twitter-friendly show based on the fact that his jokes are just that: jokes. Continue Reading
It seems the whole of the Twin Cities was present Friday, April 12 for the hip arts roundup that is Minnesota Public Radio’s Wits. Once again, the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul hosted a sold out show comprised of laughs, tunes and a few laughy tunes. As the second production of Wits’ 2013 spring season, legendary “popera” pianist Rufus Wainwright and comedienne Kristen Schaal (most well known for her characters in Flight of the Conchords and 30 Rock) stumbled through the mostly hilarious MPR variety show.Wits leader John Moe was spot on, as usual, delivering his reliable humor in that great midwestern radio newscaster voice. The main highlights included the host introducing Wainwright’s sparkly shoes as the third guest of the show and a bit about various eras’ Timelords receiving cell phones in order to reclaim that terrible 80s shirt and Jamiroquai CD you still have.Schaal was perfect for Wits. Continue Reading
Miike Snow had First Avenue attendees dancing their way through a sweaty spectrum of elation during their hour-plus set on Tuesday, October 16. The Swedish-American indie group stopped in Minneapolis in the midst of their American tour promoting their 2012 album Happy to You.
Built to Spill entertained a swarm of nostalgic Minneapolis indie-rock fans at First Avenue on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The group, led by guitarist Doug Martsch, hasn’t put out a full-length studio album since 2009, but kept an excited momentum going by sampling their extensive catalog, filled with nearly 20 years of material.
Walking into the Fine Line for JD McPherson’s show on Tuesday, June 26, you would think you had stepped right out of your DeLorean and into 1956. Audience members in their best Buddy Holly glasses and vintage house dresses packed in, grabbed their honey, and sweated it out to the new oldies.
The Ting Tings took over the First Avenue Mainroom with the help of MNDR on Monday, April 2 and gave the audience a night to remember. In the age of over-glorified pop punk duos, these two bands have kept their wits about them and proved they’re not doing this to be famous divas, they’re just here to show you a good time.
Quirky pop rocker Ben Kweller played to a moderately-packed, yet extremely invested crowd at Minneapolis’s Fine Line Music Cafe on Wednesday, March 28. Coming fresh off of the release of his latest album Go Fly A Kite (February 2012), Kweller and gang put on an excellent show layered with nostalgia and modern relevance.
British pop rockers the Kooks played to a decently filled Mainroom at First Avenue on Sunday, November 27. Due to the relatively huge indie success of their newest single “Junk of the Heart” (the title track from their 2011 album), the Kooks have gained the confidence of a legitimate band of punk poppers, but still have something to prove.